SALISBURY, Md. – A pair of early goals for the No. 4-ranked Salisbury University field hockey team set the tone for a solid 6-1 victory against No. 17 University of Mary Washington on Homecoming Weekend at Sea Gull Stadium.
As has been the case in many games this season, the formula for Salisbury's (8-1, 1-0 Capital Athletic Conference) success was a quick-scoring offense and relentless defense. Senior midfielder Abbey Shobe netted two goals in the first eight minutes to start the Gulls off strong, and classmate Becca Rinaca made it a 3-0 game with less than 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
The Eagles (6-4, 0-1 CAC) answered back in the 29th minute, capitalizing on one of their three first-half penalty corners to cut Salisbury's lead back down to two – but it would be short-lived, as freshman forward Rachel Domanico found junior forward Natalie Wilkinson in the 31st minute for a strong shot into the back of the cage.
At the end of the first half, Salisbury held a 4-1 lead, a 15-2 advantage in shots, and a 9-3 edge in penalty corners.
A penalty stroke goal by senior back Annah Brittingham in the 40th minute stretched Salisbury's lead to 5-1. Minutes later, Brittingham took a hard ball to the leg and hit the turf, but rose under her own power and later came back to finish the game strong.
With less than eight minutes remaining, a beautiful goal by junior Nicole Lindner gave Salisbury the 6-1 lead. Lindner stretched out to collect a near-errant pass from Domanico and, with Eagle goalkeeper Jessica Cavolt advancing towards her, fired it into the vacant goal.
Another outstanding defensive effort for the Sea Gulls enabled their offense to outshoot Mary Washington 22-9 and hold a 14-10 advantage in penalty corners. Junior goalkeeper Tressie Windsor made five saves, and freshman midfielder Jillian Hughes was credited with a defensive save.
Today's game opened up CAC play for both teams. Salisbury will face five CAC opponents in its next six games.
The Sea Gulls remain home for their next two games, hosting Catholic University of America on Wednesday, October 5 before welcoming CAC opponent York College of Pennsylvania on Wednesday, October 12. Both of those contests are slated to begin at 6 p.m.